- 1500 CE - 1699 CE (3)
- 1700 CE - 1799 CE (2)
- 500 CE - 1499 CE (2)
- 1800 CE - 1849 CE (1)
- 1850 CE - 1899 CE (1)
- Japanese literature (2)
- Manuscript maps (2)
- Beauty, personal (1)
- Block printing (1)
- Chinese poetry (1)
- Courtesans (1)
- Diaries (1)
- Fairy tales (1)
- Folklore (1)
- Foreign relations (1)
- Hairdressing (1)
- Mansai, 1378-1435 (1)
- Monastic and religious life (1)
- Pictorial maps (1)
- Poetry (1)
- Politics and government (1)
- Priests (1)
- Roads (1)
- Shuten Dōji (Legendary character) (1)
- Supernatural beings (1)
- Ukiyo-e (1)
- Woodcuts (1)
Type of Item
Album of Appreciation of the Fragrance of Spring
Takuhanga is a printing technique in which a cloth-covered cotton ball containing black ink is patted on wet paper placed on an intaglio-engraved woodblock. The technique derives from takuhon, the art of rubbing found in Chinese copybooks printed from the works of old masters of calligraphy. This late-18th-century takuhanga album includes poems in the Chinese style celebrating the spring scenery of Kyoto written by learned men from the city who were students of Chinese literature, including Iwagaki Ryūkei (1741−1808). The drawings are by prominent Kyoto artists from the time ...
Ibuki Dōji, the Boy from Mount Ibuki
This picture scroll of an otogizōshi (Japanese fairy tales of the Muromachi era, 1392−1573), recounts the childhood of Shuten Dōji, the oni (demon) who would one day be subdued by the real-life warrior, Minamoto no Yorimitsu. It tells the story of Shuten Dōji’s birth and his childhood on Mount Ibuki in the old province of Ōmi, protected by wild animals and feeding on magical herbs that prevented old age and death, up to the time he went to live on Mount Ōe-yama in the former province of Tanba ...
The Diary of Mansai
Mansai (1378−1435) was an abbot of the Daigo-ji Temple in the early Muromachi period (14th−15th centuries). Born into an aristocratic family, Mansai was adopted by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and ordained into the priesthood. He served three shoguns, not only as a priest but also as a political adviser and close associate. Mansai witnessed many important events in politics, foreign relations, literature, and society and was privy to the top secrets of the nation. Mansai jugō nikki (The diary of Mansai) is thus an important historical source. The National ...
Entertainments for Twelve Months
This colored, hand-drawn picture scroll presents annual events and seasonal plays in Kyoto, month by month. This particular drawing depicts children holding brooms and playing a ballgame called gicchō on a street in Kyoto. The style of the calligraphy and brushwork suggest that the scroll was made early in the Edo period (1600-1867). The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland, has the same type of picture scroll.
Kinko and Echizen
The term ukiyo-e, literally “pictures of the floating world,” refers to a genre of Japanese artwork that flourished in the Edo period (1600–1868). As the phrase “floating world” suggests, with its roots in the ephemeral worldview of Buddhism, ukiyo-e captured the fleeting dynamics of contemporary urban life. While being accessible and catering to “common” tastes, the artistic and technical details of these prints show remarkable sophistication, their subjects ranging from portraits of courtesans and actors to classical literature. Black-and-white compositions like this one are known as sumizuri-e because they ...
Pictorial Map of the Tōkaidō Highroad
This pictorial map depicts the Tōkaidō Highroad which ran between the cities of Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. The original Tōkaidō Bunken Ezu (Scale map of the Tōkaidō) was drawn by woodblock artist Hishikawa Moronobu (circa 1618–94) in 1690, based on a survey of the road made in 1651. Various iterations of this map have circulated, including black and white prints and large scrolls meant to be spread out on a desk for armchair traveling. This version is painted with ink and watercolor on two smaller scrolls, suggesting it was ...
Pictorial Map of Yamashiro Province
The kuni ezu are standardized provincial maps compiled by order of the Tokugawa shogunate in Edo (present-day Tokyo). The first order came in 1606, three years after the shogunate was established, and was followed by orders for revisions in 1636, 1649, 1702, and 1838. The daimyō (territorial nobles who ruled over vast private land holdings and large numbers of vassals) were to survey areas under their administrative control and submit maps to the government along with rice-yield registers. These official maps eventually became widely available to the public, and a ...